You’re in Reykjavík. Maybe on holiday, maybe you were born here, maybe some strange twist of fate has led you to eke out an existence on this northern island. Whatever. At some point, you’ll want to go out to eat.
In commemoration of one of the city’s best pastimes, here follows a subjective, incomplete, and unscientific list of recommendations for dining for all occasions.
Eating with beautiful people: Bistro-bars Vegamót or Oliver. Lots of drizzled balsamic glazes and eye candy.
Morsels in tiny boxes: Sjávarkjallarinn (the Seafood Cellar). Incredible food, shareable portions, creative presentation.
Spicy: Austur Indía Félagid (the East India Company) or Ban Thai. Two of the city’s best international restaurants use more than bottled ground pepper to heat up your meal.
Burgers and shakes: Hamborgarabúllan. Chocolate shakes, fries in baskets and hamburgers made with deer meat in their Egilsstadir branch. Yum.
The view: Grillid. Perlan (the Pearl) gets a lot of attention, but Grillid, atop Hotel Saga, is unforgettable.
Schmooze your date: Skólabrú. Live piano and rose petals scattered over the table.
Schmooze your non-Icelandic parents: Við Tjörnina (By the Pond). Bordering on the twee, it’s just what visitors imagine traditional Icelandic fine dining to be.
Schmooze your Icelandic parents: Humarhúsið (the Lobster House). Established, in an old building, lots of lobster.
Bloody hunks of meat: Argentina. Best steaks in town. Thanks to well placed plants and dim lighting, also a contender for “Best place to conduct your secret affair”.
Corporate Entertainment: Vox. Great food, great service, expansive wine list. Perfect for expense accounts.
Foam: b5, Silfur, and many others. Frothy sauces, soups, and desserts have been all the rage in the capital over the past few years. Foamy fixtures were noticeably absent on a recent visit to trend-setting Vox, however, so it may have past its heyday. Get it while it lasts.